The good news about understanding leadership as an organizational system, is that it can be designed and engineered to a specific purpose. But there is a risk to those already in the leadership ranks. They have risen in the organization based on a set of acceptable rules, routines, and behaviors. Designing a new systems means these same rules, routines, and behaviors no longer apply. For many, this is radical leadership.
When I asked the retired CEO how his leadership team responded when he began to implement a system of leadership based on the philosophy of servant leadership, he said, “half my leadership team walked out or were encouraged to move on”. Then he added, “the other half thought they would stick around because I would be the one moving on“.
So in designing a system of leadership, it must be understood, that some leaders will either be unable or unwilling to operate within a designed system. This is OK and to be expected. Because of this, our approach is to design the system of leadership with significant input from leaders and managers. Then holding everyone accountable for what THEY have determined how to lead.
Want to explore what this means for your organization, or just want to provide your feedback, please contact us.